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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HECS3244 Autistic Spectrum Disorder

10 creditsClass Size: 33

Module manager: Jo Lay

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

120 Level 2 credits

This module is mutually exclusive with

DONE2174Autistic Spectrum Disorder

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that impacts on an individual's ability to communicate and make sense of their environment. This module supports students to develop a conceptual understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) considering the differing and broad diagnoses which the spectrum encompasses (Including Asperger Syndrome). Taught sessions consider the needs of people with ASD in relation to the triad of impairments from the perspectives of the individual, family and supporting professionals. Within the module you will be directed towards specific research topics which are relevant to the field of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. These will include therapeutic interventions used to support individuals and their families. Within the independent online learning you will be given some specific tasks to complete. This will include exploration of contemporary research papers which will inform discussion during seminars. You will also explore services for children and adults with ASD in the local community and have a two hour fieldwork experience where you will be supported to explore a family/carer/organisational perspective on supporting an individual with autism. Further information about ASD is available from the National Autistic Society 15 minute presentation (10 minute presentation and 5 minutes questions) and 500 word synopsis


The aim of this module is to enable the student to explore the prevalence of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the learning disabled population, critically appraising definitions of ASD and the impact this has on access to services.

Students will analyse and critically reflect upon the intricacies of ASD, discovering the specific needs of people with ASD disorders and will critically examine the assessment and diagnostic process and the impact it has on families.

The role of healthcare professionals working within the field of ASD will be examined which will involve consideration of the relation between member of the multi-disciplinary team and parents/carers. A problem solving approach to appraise the individual’s communication, sensory and behavioural needs will be used.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will:
- Have a conceptual understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), comprehending with depth, the differing diagnosis that the spectrum encompasses (including autism and Asperger's) and a detailed understanding of the specific needs of people with this diagnosis.
- Develop a comprehensive understanding of the history of ASD, with an extensive insight into what is meant by the Triad of Impairments.
- Demonstrate recognition of the assessment and diagnostic process required and be able to empathise with how this process impacts on parents and carers.
- Develop a good understanding of their own role in meeting the needs of individuals with ASD and have a comprehensive knowledge of the role of others in the multidisciplinary team in meeting the needs of that person.
- Examine the boundaries of the roles and be able to ascertain with confidence where others might assist in addressing need.
- Demonstrate insight into the needs of the family as a whole when a member of the family has ASD and gain a comprehensive understanding of how having a child with ASD impacts on everyday family life.
- Have a conceptual recognition of the communication, sensory and the behavioural needs of a person with ASD and an analytical understanding of how these needs might be met.
- Have a comprehensive insight into the psychological and mental health needs of someone with an ASD.
- Demonstrate a sound appreciation of the possibility of offending behaviour amongst people with ASD, gaining comprehensive insight into why they might offend and how offending behaviour might impact on them. why they might.


Introduction to the module.
The history of autism and the experience of autism.
The autistic spectrum.
The causes of autism.
Its impact on families and individuals.
The activities of living and autism, the manifestation of autism in every day life.
Key skills and interventions in working with people who have ASD
Autism, communication, senses and behaviour.
The impact of having a child with autism , the parents' perspective
The role of the multi-professional team and ASD.
Communicating with people who have ASD and communication skills.
Putting plans into action when meeting the needs of people with ASD
Meeting the work needs of someone with ASD.
Psychological, Mental health and offending behaviour in someone with ASD.
Consolidation of ideas, arrangement for academic supervision and evaluation of the module.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours8.00
Private study hours79.00
Total Contact hours13.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

The students will be directed towards specific research topics which are relevant to the field of ASD.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminars and tutorials will provide formative evidence of students' progress. Students will be allocated supervision time within the module timetable.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500 Word Essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/10/2020 10:05:24


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